This spring, we all went through something we were hoping never to have to go through again. That was the return of high pathogenic avian influenza to the Midwest. After the lessons we learned in 2015, we were ready for this go around. While any loss of flocks is devastating to the farmers, we were able to come through this spring better than we did in 2015. Those lessons learned got us through a tough time. We were able to even have poultry at county and state fairs here by the end of the summer. We breathed a sigh of relief when it was over, but what if it is to come back?
Iowa agriculture secretary Mike Naig talked with me on Thursday, and we talked about the fact that avian influenza cases are starting to spread up again along migratory paths as birds get ready to move south for the winter. There have been a few cases in the Great Lakes region. Many of them have been centered around Minnesota, where they have the largest Turkey population in the United States. Secretary Naig talks about the situation we’re finding ourselves in, and how it differs from the 2015 outbreak.
Secretary Naig also commends the producers for getting through this first outbreak this spring relatively unscathed. He talks about the diligence they had during the spring, and reinforces that diligence needs to come back in the fall. He commends producers for being prepared to possibly go through this outbreak for the second time in the same year.
Keep up with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship website for more information on any possibility of bird flu outbreaks. You can also get information from the Iowa Turkey Federation, and the Iowa Poultry Association.